AP Pro Football Writer
Even as NFL teams make a huge deal out of their discoveries from the hinterlands of college football, it's the big schools from the powerhouse conferences that dominate the draft.
Based on rosters for the opening of the 2013 season, here's a look at the best and worst selections from each of the 27 schools that had at least 20 players in the NFL at that time. So no, JaMarcus Russell -- who was out of the league-- doesn't make the "cut," as the biggest flop from LSU.
Southern California (40)
Best: Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, a borderline Hall of Famer and big-time playmaker, selected 16th in 2003.
Worst: Another safety, Cincinnati's Taylor Mays, whose lack of speed has made him a journeyman after being chosen 49th overall in 2010.
Louisiana State (39)
Best: Kyle Williams, Buffalo's versatile defensive lineman, was a fifth-round choice in 2006 and has made three Pro Bowls.
Worst: Chiefs DE Tyson Jackson, taken third overall in 2009, has had little impact and isn't even a key to the team's defense.
Best: Beating out a tremendous group of Hurricanes, safety Ed Reed, Baltimore's first-rounder in 2002, has a Super Bowl ring and a likely plaque in Canton.
Worst: Taken 24th overall by New England, safety Brandon Meriweather, now with Washington, is best known for brutal and fine-worthy hits.
Best: The Saints' Champ Bailey is one of the most accomplished cornerbacks in NFL history, making his selection by Washington at No. 7 overall in 1999 look very wise.
Worst: Only because there are no long-term flops from the Bulldogs, Chiefs DB Sanders Commings, a fifth-rounder last year, is the choice for being on injured reserve for much of his rookie season.
Florida State (31)
Best: The clutch catches, physicality and precise route running of San Francisco Anquan Boldin, a second-rounder in 2003 by Arizona, makes this a clear choice.
Worst: Vikings QB Christian Ponder, the 12th overall pick in 2011, is now wondering if he has an NFL job.
Best: Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles was the 73rd choice in 2008 and has become one of the league's most dangerous runners and receivers.
Worst: A seventh overall pick should not be a journeyman, but safety Michael Huff, late of Denver, has been that since Oakland took him in 2006.
Best: For all the big names from Alabama, less-heralded guard Evan Mathis, the 79th overall selection in 2005 by Carolina, now is an All-Pro with the Eagles.
Worst: Bengals T Andre Smith, taken sixth in 2009, has improved from bust to mediocre.
Best: We'll get an argument here for Aaron Rodgers, but it's a surefire Hall of Famer, TE Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City's No. 1 (13th overall) in 1997.
Worst: Chosen 10th overall by Jacksonville in 2010, DT Tyson Alualu has been a disappointment.
Best: Need we say more than Denver QB Peyton Manning, first overall by Indianapolis in 1998?
Worst: DT Dan Williams, a first-rounder in 2010 who barely has made a blip on the NFL's radar.
Ohio State (27)
Best: All Jets for the Buckeyes. Center Nick Mangold, 29th overall in 2006, is two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler.
Worst: WR Santonio Holmes, 26th in '06 draft -- and despite a Super Bowl MVP award with Pittsburgh -- has been disruptive with the Steelers and Jets.
Best: Massive Baltimore DT Haloti Ngata, 12th overall in 2006, is two-time All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler.
Worst: Safety Patrick Chung, now back with Patriots, has been so-so for the 34th pick in 2009.
Best: Browns CB Joe Haden, seventh overall in 2010, is a rare bright light in Cleveland.
Worst: WR Andre Caldwell, Cincinnati's third-rounder in 2008 and now with Denver, has averaged less than 25 catches a season.
Notre Dame (24)
Best: Taken 74th in 2005, DE Justin Tuck was a key to two Super Bowl wins with the Giants.
Worst: Cleveland's first-rounder in 2007, QB Brady Quinn basically has been a career backup.
Best: Naturally, Seattle QB Russell Wilson. A third-rounder in 2012, he's already a Super Bowl winner.
Worst: OL Gabe Carimi, No. 29 in 2011 by Chicago, has been a washout with Bears and Bucs.
Best: The NFL's best running back, 2,000-yarder Adrian Peterson, was the seventh pick by Minnesota in 2007. Brilliant selection.
Worst: Atlanta CB Dominique Franks, a fifth-rounder in 2010, has barely had a role for Falcons.
Penn State (23)